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Academic Paper


Title: Linear History of Indic Language: Some problems of historiography
Paper URL: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2080657
Author: Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: https://independent.academia.edu/DebaprasadBandyopadhyay
Institution: Indian Statistical Institute
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Genetic Classification; Historical Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: The author of this paper questioned the linear chronological overdetermined history of Indic language and its subsequent genealogical classification by deploying following methods :(a) David Hume’s Regulatory Theory; (b) pratyavijna (roughly ‘retrospection’) darsana ;(c) Althusser’s concept of historicism; (d) the Buddhist concept of jataka ( Buddha himself did not believe in rebirth. Proofs are cited in the paper), the semantics of which was like this: non-reified existence of human being (jataka) with continuous flux (ksnikatavada). (d) primary repression caused by the other-mirrors (language-police/-judge/-managers) in semiotic order (Julia Kristeva). The author compared, with the help of the concept of Foucauldian genealogy, this linear history with ‘fast forward-rewind’ phenomenon in magnetic tapes. /L/There were four case studies offered by the author to nullify institutionalized linear chronological history of Indic languages as proposed by Suniti Kumar Chatterji and Sukumar Sen: (a) the dating of the Rgveda: it is not the oldest Veda, but constructed in the 6th C. B.C. by marginalizing Samasongs by means of grammaticalization/codification of Rg-recitations (cf. SSRN Paper ID: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2021917, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2018055) ; (b) the Jataka- narratives were composed almost 500 to 600 years after the death of Buddha, though scholars had put it within the lifetime of Buddha; (c) In case of constructing the linguistic history of imagined Bangla, the author put a simple question: if anyone ask Luipada (one of the Carya- poets) or Candidasa (composer of Srikrsnakirtana) or the king Laksmanasena: are you a Bengali? Obviously they did not understand the connotation of Bangla/Bengali that was a 19th C. product/construct or historical apriori; (d) looking at the ontogeny of language acquisition, when a child is forming ”go-goed “ (Bangla examples are cited) type analogical formation, other-mirrors started to “rectify” it. The problematic question is: which one is earlier and which one is after? /L/According to author this institutionalized linear history of language, that, peculiarly enough, overlaps with history of literature, subscribes the nation statist genealogical fantasy and deals only with substantive arbitrary epi-phenomenal E-linguistic features—a leisure class’s conspicuous consumption. The problem of Comparative Philology or Historical linguistics is that this enterprise largely depends on the entailment theory of causality and frequent (?)One-after-another occurrences of arbitrary signifiers lead them to a dogmatic bad faith! If Chomskian UG is to be believed, how do we classify languages genealogically? And that is an inner contradiction of the linguistics. (cf. SSRN Paper ID: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2015064, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2029974). This type of History is not only ahistorical, but anti-historical non-epistemology.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: 2009. “Sorolrekhay Indic bhaSa itiHaS: SomoSSar itiHaS”.[Linear History of Indic Language: Some Problems of Historiography] Ed. Chakroborty, Barun. “Tomar sristrir pOth.” (Acarya Sukumar Sen Commemoration Volume). Kolkata: Aparna Book Distributors. (pp. 448-71) ISBN 81-86036-79-2
URL: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2080657


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